Joe Gardner is a middle school teacher with a love for jazz music. After a successful audition at the Half Note Club, he suddenly gets into an accident that separates his soul from his body and is transported to the You Seminar, a center in which souls develop and gain passions before being transported to a newborn child. Joe must enlist help from the other souls-in-training, like 22, a soul who has spent eons in the You Seminar, in order to get back to Earth.

  • Released: 2020-12-25
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Genre: Animation, Family, Music
  • Stars: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashād, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove, Angela Bassett, Cora Champommier, Margo Hall, Daveed Diggs, Rhodessa Jones, Wes Studi, Sakina Jaffrey, Fortune Feimster, Calum Grant, Laura Mooney, Peggy Flood, Zenobia Shroff, June Squibb, Ochuwa Oghie, Jeannie Tirado, Cathy Cavadini, Dorian Lockett, Doris Burke, Ronnie del Carmen, Esther K. Chae, Élisapie, Marcus Shelby
  • Director: Pete Docter
  • luyssshenry - 13 April 2024
    "That's not Purpose 22, that's just life."
    Without a doubt, this is the most adult film ever produced by Pixar, but it is not "adult content" where there is violence or explicit nudity, it is one that children and adults can watch, which will make you question and understand more about your own life, because In this film, debatable topics are addressed, such as your purpose in life, your meaning in life, self-knowledge, valuing your own feelings, the struggle and denial of death and acceptance of life, relationships in which there are fights, joy, sadness, that is, relationships that are true and human. And all these topics are covered perfectly.

    With deep scenes and dialogues that really move you, make you laugh, make you reflect, make you cry and understand that this is indeed human and that life is like this. Scenes like Joe's outburst with his mother, 22 simply looking at how life is and having fun with life's little pleasures as if she were a child (personally, I was moved by this scene, as it showed me that Sometimes I just need to see the good in life.)

    Speaking of technical issues, this film is extraordinary, as it is a children's film, there are several moments of comedy, but they are well dosed, appearing at the right moment, in other words, the film knew how to divide comedy and drama in the right way. The Cinematography is simply impeccable, in many moments it simply makes life be life, like in moments when you simply stop and look around you, seeing life. The characters are well constructed and presented, and the dynamics and friendship between 22 and Joe are simply inspiring. I say again, in technical terms, such as script, cinematography, soundtrack and music, this film is majestic.

    My impartial opinion is that it is a fun and well-constructed film, which despite having small holes, manages to move the viewer. A great hit Pixar film.
  • glenkpeterson - 12 February 2024
    Touching and important
    I've recently had to decide I wanted to participate in my own life again. I don't have a reason, I just want to live. I had to choose it, and keep choosing it. Like a shark, I need to move forward to breathe. In This Modern World with drugs, video games, so many reasons to want to escape, and so many other ways to hide from life or zone out, it's worth showing up to life and trying a bunch of times in a row.

    Couple little bones to pick. One is that a Jazz Musician doesn't spend his life thinking about playing. They spend their life practicing/rehearsing/playing. The other is that the music only got a little jazzy. I know a lot of people don't like "real jazz" but I do and I was hoping to hear Giant Steps or something.
  • df16699n - 27 December 2022
    Finding a Spark in Simplicity
    You can never go wrong with Pixar. Soul is a beautiful film and it is filled with touching moments. Anyone that watches Soul can find themselves in this film. We spend our lives chasing something and when we reach it, it's not good enough for us or we want more and in the process we are ignoring all the beauty in the simplicity of everyday life. Meaning and purpose are words that we are consumed by, but what we really need to do is just live our lives. The best part of Pixar films is that they are for all ages. Sometimes these films feel like they're more for adults than kids. For all the kids that watch this movie, it will be a great film to watch again when they are older to see how their view of it changes. Soul is for everyone, we all have Soul. In watching this movie, hopefully we can all remember that we have Soul and embrace it.
  • tuna-65672 - 15 August 2022
    Enjoy the small pleasures of life
    We all have dreams. We all want to fulfill those dreams. Sometimes we get carried away in chasing after them, that we forget to enjoy the small pleasures of life. We get the feeling it's just ordinary life stuff, which this movie masterfully challenges. It shows us that passion and dreams are important, but you should not get carried away in following them blindly, but instead take a step back and enjoy life to its fullest.
  • quiqueperezsoler - 9 July 2022
    Subtle. A more intellectual rather than emotionally resonant movie. Perhaps a bit too deep, ambitious and scattered. This one will make you think more than feel.
    Where Inside Out took a deep dive into how feelings work, Soul took a deep dive into our soul and what makes us enjoy life. However, the ambition behind this overall message lacked a specific vessel to focus the narrative that unfortunately doesn't hit home the same way Inside Out, Coco and Ratatouille do.

    Now this isn't a bad thing per se. The movie has, as per usual, astounding animation and an understandable narrative to explain all of the complex and philosophical concepts it delves into. And I don't envy this task at all and actually praise and commend them for the imaginative and cohesive portrayals of some of these concepts. The story helps all of these be focused on to add to the characters' development. And the premise itself is quite interesting and very engaging.


    However there are certain things I didn't like as much, either because they seem to be put there to "break the monotony" or to "add action to a very intelectual story". Personally, there shouldn't have been any enemies or physical representations of "bad guys", but rather use the emotional turmoils and duality of existence as the driving force behind the good and the bad. But the bigger problem with me was the amount of stones left unturned that left some of the more primordial concepts weak and at times wrongly represented. And again, this could be attributed to the ambition the movie had in regards to the topic it wanted to tackle. But things like how personalities are assigned to the souls, how there are these 2D omnipotent beings that rule the astral plane before and after we die and some of the acts and lack of "power" they have in some sections of the movie, breaks the illusion of the "world building" the movie is trying to go to. And I hate to be the one that will compare it with Inside Out but I just can't help but associate both given they were both written and directed by the same guy and they tackle the same sort of spiritual intellectual matters of the body and soul.

    Soul seems to sacrifice using an emotional focus based on a single narrative to establish the emotional core of the movie. Instead, giving more weight to the message. The narrative is backdropped in two realities (real world and the other world) and yet they are both somehow underwhelmingly dull. We never get to dig through the Other World and how it operates, the elements introduced are there simply to service the story. They are charismatic and witty, and hold most of the comedic purposes of the movie, but that's where their importance stays. One of the characters is supposed to be a very important part of the emotional narrative of the story but she is annoyingly superficial as its role is to, well, not have a motivation overall and yet not only is this played for jokes but the fact that she is voiced by a "middle aged white woman" doesn't help ground the fact that this character is supposed to represent an "unborn soul", someone who hasn't yet arrived to earth nor experience life. It sounds like a nitpick, but I would have more likely given it a little girl's voice to double down on that notion. And besides, it would have also excused her immature, annoying and irrational behavior. I swear, it is the smallest of changes but the more I think of it the more I realize, going through the entire movie and generally the beats and themes of this character, how much better it would have been if it was a little kid that went through all of them.

    How it would have hammered home most of her arc and it would have resonated more with kids. And I get it, PIXAR this time around decided to get smarter, to try to address this from a new, different perspective. With a different narrative drive than through an explicit plot device that is physical and has physical repercussions. And in a way it doesn't sacrifice them either, it tries to mix both and because of that they both feel half baked. We don't spend enough time in the Other world to understand it truly and we don't spend all the time on Earth where most of the emotional climax is connected to. We get to know the main character's motivations and personality but his ambition is very "surface level", it lies on his professional ambition and not on his emotional one. And here is when I bring Ratatouille. Ratatouille is a movie that delves into talent and passions just the same as Soul but it does it through a narrative vessel: the juxtaposition of what can and can't be.

    Ratatouille is about a rat (commonly seen as a disgusting pest) that wants to cook in the human world (a natural enemy of his and a being full of discrimination and prejudices). And through this narrative the movie is able to weave a story that involves breaking the norms, following your passions, being vulnerable and going out there to try to show the world you are good enough and in exchange be accepted and be allowed to do what you were meant to do. Soul reaches for this sort of cathartic realization but throughout the movie it rushes to set up all the elements needed and these are more complicated than those in Ratatouille.

    Only at the very end of the movie do you realize that was his fault, that he was giving his passion too much importance and assigning it as his "meaning or reason to live". Which could say a lot about how we view life and how we associate the meaning of life to the careers we choose to pursue... But the movie never settles for an ending, we never see the main character choose what he'll do. Will he renounce his new dream career to teach? And this ambiguous ending is what prevents the movie from hammering down its message: is being driven by passion a good or a bad thing?

    Their task is to set up the backdrop of the Other World AND Earth in the same story and by rushing through it, it presents it just enough to push the story forward but we never stop to hear how the characters feel and react. And that's why personally the main character's behavior feels egotistical, because he is driven solely by passion and doesn't care about anyone else. However, that's part of the message of the movie but it was so subtlety presented that it went over my head. And THAT for me is the biggest mistake this movie makes. It tries to be subtle with its messages, which is not bad per se because it encourages rewatches and sparks analytical study. But I personally and ultimately gravitate towards movies and stories that put more focus into its emotional component, on what it makes me feel more than what it makes me think. And don't get me wrong, I also love movies that make you think. But I'd more likely revisit movies that lift me up emotionally than they do intellectually. Not to mention, sadly not many kids would have understood this movie but will only understand once they grow up.

    IN CONCLUSION, I love PIXAR because they have always had a way to tell complex emotions through a simple story, kind of like through an allegory or metaphor. And the visuals help hammering down the takeaways and messages of their stories. Is just that, at the end of the day, I'd rather be taught the meaning of legacy, music and remembering through Coco's Mexican Dia de los Muertos visual voyage; the importance of negative emotion through Inside Out's portrayal of how feelings work and define our personality; and the importance of following your dreams no matter where you come from or who you are through Ratatoille's Remy the Rat; than have a philosophically charged story that sets up a story to teach us its message. Soul is a movie that excels at presenting concepts that we haven't seen before and by using astonishing blend of 2D and 3D animation, innovating on the rendering and texturing department, it weaves a story with plot devices and characters remarkably engaging. But when it tries to be profound and intellectual it does so with such nuance and implicit delivery that it goes over the head of most who are not expecting it. Or maybe it's just me, who never quite understood the amount of subtle messages the movie presents other than the core one. Maybe I should watch it a couple of more times, maybe when I understand it all it will change my opinion. But for now, I'd just say I applaud the effort and I'd much rather see PIXAR try hard on these concepts, pushing the Animation medium, rather than releasing sequels or playing it simple.